'I was wondering,' Peter said, washing up some glasses one night, 'when I'm going to get promoted?'
'Ah well now Peter,' Assumpta replied, putting her arms around his waist and kissing him, 'the only thing to get promoted to around here is the cooking. See it goes cleaning ashtrays, stacking crates, washing up and then the cooking.'
'And I'm at the washing up stage?' Peter asked as he wiped his hands on the towel.
'Professionally speaking,' Assumpta smiled as he kissed her passionately.
'I should probably go,' Peter said. 'We don't want this to go too far yet.'
Assumpta handed him the key to the pub with a look that said 'I'm ready when you are.'
He accepted the key and kissed her again.
Assumpta sighed as she locked the door after him. Not a sad sigh but a contented one. Her marriage to Leo was annulled one week ago and Peter was officially no longer a priest. As she was thinking, she heard a key turn in the lock. She turned to face the door as her heart started beating faster and faster.
Peter appeared in the doorway. He gave her one of those sheepish smiles that she had grown to love as he said, 'What can I say? I love happy endings.'
Assumpta smiled at his attempt to ease the tension. She walked towards him and felt his arms hold her in a passionate embrace. A couple of minutes later, Assumpta wordlessly broke the embrace and led him upstairs for their first time to truly experience true love together.
'Peter?' Assumpta said quietly.
'Hmm?' he replied, running his fingers through her hair.
'Last night, you gave me some things that no one has ever given me before.'
'And what would those things be?' he asked her, kissing her hand that was resting on his chest.
'Well, you gave me love, warmth and passion.'
'Anyone could have given you that.'
'But you also gave me yourself and everything you had. No one has ever done that for me before what you did last night and ever since I first met you.'
Peter was genuinely touched by this little speech. He started kissing her and the kisses that they shared grew deeper and deeper each time.
At 6:30 the next morning, Niamh was up with Kieran, who yet again was having trouble sleeping. As she patted his back, she walked over to the window that looked to Fitzgerald's. She frowned. There she saw Assumpta letting Peter out the door, but not before a lingering kiss. This needed investigating.
Three hours later, Assumpta was still in bed. She had not slept much the night before and was glad she had some time to sleep before the pub opened. Suddenly the door opened. 'Peter?' she thought to herself.
'Assumpta?' a voice said accusingly.
'Go away Niamh,' Assumpta grumbled.
'I won't go away until you tell me what happened last night.'
'Niamh, Peter helped me clean up, I locked up the bar and I went to bed.'
'Not alone though,' Niamh pressed her.
Assumpta opened her eyes a crack. 'What?'
'Don't play stupid Assumpta. I saw you see him off at 6:30 this morning.'
'Oh you spying on me now?'
'No. I was up with Kieran. What actually happened last night?'
'Niamh, what happened with me and Peter last night is none of your business!'
'You went that far did you?'
Assumpta groaned and pulled the covers over her head.
'What would you have done if Kathleen had seen you? The whole town would have known about it in minutes! You're only 1 month into what is termed as an affair!'
'Right!' growled Assumpta, sitting up. 'Peter is not a priest and I am no longer married. We are in love. And it was the right thing for us. Now Niamh, leave me alone!'
Stunned by this outburst, Niamh left the room. As soon as Assumpta heard
the door close, she rolled over and went back to sleep. Ten minutes later,
she heard the door open again. 'Does everyone have a key to this place?'
she wondered as she got up, put
on a coat and went out onto the landing. She got a fright when she felt Peter's lips press against hers.
'What are you doing here?' she asked him.
'Well, boss you said to be here before you opened. It's ten to eleven.'
Assumpta smiled. 'Very punctual.'
'I was wondering,' Peter said, 'is it good form for the employer and employee to be in a relationship?'
'You've been promoted,' Assumpta replied as she kissed him and went to get dressed.
Assumpta and Peter had decided that he would live with her now but they had not told anyone that they would be sharing the same room. Only Niamh knew that they had slept together and after Assumpta's outburst she had been keeping her mouth shut on the subject.
'So Peter,' Siobhan began. Everyone now said his name with ease, even relief at the informality. 'You're lucky to have been promoted to the washing-up stage. Most people only stay at the cleaning ashtrays stage.'
'I only ever did that to one person,' Assumpta replied, defending herself.
Silence fell over the pub as Fr Mac walked in. 'A pint please,' he said
to Assumpta. She threw her usual look of contempt
at him as she walked over to pull the pint. 'Well Peter,' Fr Mac said awkwardly. 'How are you going?'
'Fine thank you.'
'Peter could you go and talk to Siobhan? She looks upset,' Assumpta whispered to him as she handed Fr Mac the pint with another of her prized scowls. Peter flashed her a look of gratefulness and she returned it with a quick kiss before he went to talk to Siobhan.
'You're determined to keep him away from me aren't you?' Fr Mac said accusingly to her.
'No,' she replied. 'I am determined for him to be happy and he was clearly not happy when you were about to grill him with questions about his personal life.' With that she flipped the bar towel over her shoulder and joined Peter.
'Good day everyone,' Brian said coming in. 'A pint please.' He sat himself down at the bar. 'You know Assumpta, I'm not surprised you gave up Leo.'
Assumpta turned around stunned.
'Most children from a broken home are a little weird but you were brought up in a pub. No wonder you got so mixed up. Like your father.'
Peter turned around, his face as dark as thunder. But it was Assumpta who spoke first.
'Get out of my pub,' she said, the tears forming on her face. 'Now!'
Brian left and Assumpta ran upstairs. Siobhan got up to follow her.
'No,' Peter told her. 'I think she would rather be alone right now.'
Niamh her face clouded with anger followed her father out of the pub.
'Dad!' she called, running to catch up with him.
Brian turned around to face her.
'What did you think you were doing, saying things like that to Assumpta?'
'It's the plain truth,' Brian said calmly.
'It's a downright pack of lies! You know Dad, I haven't seen her cry since her father's funeral. Then you say that! Do you forget how close Assumpta was to her father?'
Brian went to his car and Niamh, very upset, went home.
Later that night, Peter went upstairs. He saw the door to Assumpta's room was shut so he headed into one of the guest room and lay down under the covers. About five minutes later, he heard the door to the room slowly open. A small figure slid into bed beside him and put her arms over his chest. He turned over to face her.
'You didn't come to bed,' she said quietly.
'I thought you might like to be alone,' he replied, kissing her forehead.
'I would rather have you near me tonight,' she told him. She kissed him lightly on the lips and snuggled up to him.
'Do you want to talk?' he asked her.
'What Brian said about your father really hurt you didn't it?'
'Talk to me Assumpta.'
'Yes Peter,' Assumpta said, 'what Quigley said really did hurt me. I am happy for him to say what he does about me, he has ever since I've known him, but I won't have a word said against my father.'
'I'd have like to know your father,' Peter told her.
'He would have liked you, you're very much alike.'
'Really?' Peter looked down at her when he got no answer and saw she was fast asleep.
The next morning, Peter woke early and quietly slipped out of bed so as not to wake Assumpta. He got dressed and went downsatirs. Looking around the pub he smiled. He had grown to love this place and especially the woman who owned it. He frowned as he thought back to how he'd nearly lost her.
4 WEEKS PREVIOUSLY
As soon as the lights flickered Peter called Assumtpa's name and ran downstairs. Brendan and Doc Ryan followed him. Brendan looked at Peter and saw not only the fear and grief but love. This did not surprise him.
AT THE HOSPITAL 20 MINUTES LATER
Peter had been told by Niamh to go in and sit with Assumpta. She was very weak but stable. He sat down beside her bed and took her hand in his. She opened her eyes and when she saw him she smiled.
'I nearly lost you tonight,' he said.
'But you didn't,' she told him.
'But I might have. You scared the whole pub to death.'
'What are you doing?' Assumpta asked him.
He looked at her in her jeans and shirt.
'You looked like you were on another planet,' she told him.
'I was only thinking about when I nearly lost you.'
'But you didn't,' she smiled at him.
He kissed her.
'I have to go shopping,' Assumtpa told him. 'You think you can manage this place by yourself?'
'Don't you trust me?' he asked grinning
'No,' Assumpta grinned as she grabbed her keys and left.
By the time Assumpta got back the pub was full. Peter looked like a blur and Niamh, who had come in to help out, looked the same. Assumpta carried the box through to the kitchen and Niamh came to help her unpack.
'Don't you need to be helping Flash out there?' Assumpta aksed her.
Niamh giggled. 'He's fine. He... Assumpta what's this?' she asked holding up a pregnancy test box.
Assumpta snatched it out of Niamh's hands. 'Nothing,' she replied.
'Do you think you're pregnant?'
'I don't know Niamh.'
'Does Peter know about this?'
'No and we're not going to tell him!'
'It is his isn't it?'
'Of course it is Niamh!'
'Assumpta!' Peter called.
Assumpta glared at Niamh and went out to help Peter.
When things had gotten under control at the bar, Assumpta slipped upstairs. Niamh looked around the pub and saw Peter in deep conversation with Padraig and Brendan so she followed Assumpta up. Assumpta walked out of her bathroom and into Niamh.
'God Niamh you frightened the life out of me!'
'Well?' Niamh asked her.
Assumpta looked at her blankly, concious of what was coming next.
'Positive or negative?' Niamh asked impatiently.
Assumpta glared at her. 'Negative.'
'Assumpta,' Peter said to her as she came downstairs. 'Look at the new scans Siobhan's had of her baby.'
Assumpta accepted the photo. Siobhan explained all the parts of the baby's body.
'I can't wait to see it when it is born,' Assumpta told her.
'I'll be thankful when it's born,' Siobhan told her.
Silence fell over the bar as Fr Mac walked in with another young man at his side. 'Two pints please Assumpta.'
'No, no,' the man said in a timid and quiet voice. 'I don't drink.'
'Right then. A pint and and orange juice.'
Assumpta went to pull the pint but as Peter went to get the juice, Fr. Mac stopped him. 'I'd like you to meet Fr. Aidan O'Connell. Fr. O'Connell , Peter Clifford.'
'Pleased to meet you Peter,' Fr. O'Connell said. 'You were the former priest, correct?'
Peter stiffened. Assumpta saw this and came and stood by him, handing the pint and juice to the men with a scowl.
'Yes,' Peter replied.
'Father, this is our local publican and queen of dirty looks, Assumpta Fitzgerald.'
At the mention of her name and title Assumpta glared at Father Mac.
'Charmed I'm sure,' Fr O'Connell replied. 'Shall I being seeing you in mass Miss Fitzgerald?'
'Ha! Over my dead body,' she replied.
'Assumpta,' Peter warned her.
Fr Mac took Fr O'Connell to sit down at one of the tables. 'As you can probably guess, Assumpta does not go to Mass.'
'Is she the one that Mr Clifford left the Church for?'
'Yes,' Fr. Mac replied.
'What do we think?' Assumpta asked Siobhan.
'I think, that Brian Quigley is going to have another wheeling and dealing job.'
'Oh really and what's that?' Peter asked, coming up behind Assumpta and slipping his arms around her waist.
'Buying a microphone and a large and very effective speaker system,' Siobhan laughed.
'Well, we think he stinks,' Padraig said, coming in with Brendan.
'And why do we think that?' Peter asked them.
'Look at this,' he replied, handing them a flyer.
'Meeting and Greeting. Chance for you to meet people out of town that have the same religious interests as you?' Assumpta read out loud. 'He just arrives in town and already he wants to change us!'
'Peter?' Assumpta said the next day. 'Do you mind if I slip out for awhile? I need to go and see someone.'
'Okay. I might slip out for a couple of minutes later, but I'll get Padraig on the job.'
Assumpta smiled and kissed him as she left.
As soon as Assumpta left, Peter turned to Siobhan. 'Everything set for tomorrow?'
'Fine,' Siobhan replied.
'Right,' said Peter. 'I'll just go to Cilldargen and pick up her present.'
'May I enquire as to what this is?' Padraig asked.
'Ah,' Peter smiled. 'You'll have to wait till tomorrow.'
Assumpta knocked on the Egan's door. Ambrose answered it. 'Hello Assumpta.'
'Hi Ambrose. Is Niamh in?'
'Yeah, she's in Kieran's room. Bye,' he told her as he left.
Assumpta walked up to Kieran's room. She tentatively knocked on the door. 'Niamh?'
'Assumpta?' Niamh said surprised.
'Listen. I don't have much time because Peter's runnning the pub in rush hour. I just wanted to say I'm sorry.'
'For what?' Niamh asked her.
'For everything I said and did yesterday. I was just scared, that's all.'
Niamh knew how hard it was for Asusmpta to say all that. 'It's okay,' she replied, hugging her friend.
'I was partly to blame as well. Now you better hurry back. And don't forget it's your birthday tomorrow.'
That night after the pub was closed, Assumpta took a glass of wine and went and sat on the couch in front of the fire. Peter put his glass down beside hers and pulled out a jewellery box. Assumpta knew what was coming next. 'Yes,' she said softly.
'Assumpta, I have been working on this for awhile and have stressed many times. Can I at least ask you before you reply?' Peter told her.
'Thank you. Assumpta I have loved you since the day we met. Although we've definitely had our ups and downs. I love you more than anything. Assumpta will you marry me?'
'You know the answer to that,' she replied as she watched him slip the ring on.
'Happy birthday,' he said, sitting beside her and kissing her on the forehead.
'Thank you,' she replied, pulling him down for a longer kiss.
'Go on,' Peter nudged her.
'We don't need anything from Cilldargen,' Assumpta grumbled.
'I'm sure you can find something,' he told her.
Assumpta groaned and taking her keys, left.
'Took you long enough,' Siobhan told him.
'She is so stubborn,' he smiled.
'And you noticed that when?' Niamh asked, bringing Kieran in.
'So what did you send her off to do?' Padraig asked as he handed one side of the banner up to Niamh.
'I told her to go and find something,' Peter replied.
'I don't see her present,' Siobhan commented, taking Aisling from Brendan.
'Yeah what did you get her?' Kevin asked.
'Um, she took it with her,' Peter replied awkwardly.
'I hope everything's ready,' Liam said, coming in.
'Why?' Brendan asked.
'Cause she's coming down the street now.'
The bar was a blur for the moment before Assumpta entered to a chorus of 'Happy Birthday.' Niamh, Orla, Emma and Siobhan gave her a hug and Peter kissed her on the cheek.
After the party, Siobhan noticed a flash on Assumpta's hand. 'Assumpta hold up your hand.'
Assumpta held up her right hand up.
'The other one.'
Somewhat reluctantly Assumpta held up her left hand.
'Is there something you'd like to tell us?' Siobhan asked her.
'Well, uh, Peter and I are engaged.'
Congratulations were given from everyone in the bar. Everyone except
Brian that is. But Assumpta
and Peter didn't care. They were too much in love to care.
'So,' Niamh said, raising a glass to her lips, 'when's the wedding.'
'Very soon,' Assumpta smiled.
Niamh had a devious look in her eye and a small smile was playing at her lips.
'Don't even think about doing anything silly,' Assumpta warned her.
'Now would I do that?' Niamh asked innocently.
Assumpta gave her a 'Be serious' look.
Orla, Niamh and Emma were out walking. Siobhan was watching the pub because Peter and Assumpta had disappeared. The three were standing out overlooking the lake. Emma spotted it first.
'Look!' she told them.
Niamh and Orla followed Emma's gaze down by the lake. Assumpta and Peter, oblivious to anyone or anything around them were kissing. He had his arms around her waist and her arms were encircling his neck.
'I hope that one day I'll love someone as much as they love one another,' Orla sighed.
Niamh smiled. 'I don't think anyone could love another as they love each other.' They continued their walk, leaving the couple in privacy.
'So,' Emma said. 'Are we going to give Assumpta a party?'
'What does she say?' Orla asked Niamh.
'She says she doesn't want anything silly.'
'Well,' Orla began. 'Let's just give her a party at the pub. Give Ambrose all the men and we're at the pub.'
'Excellent,' Emma and Niamh agreed.
'So,' Fr Mac said to Siobhan. 'Do you have any idea when the wedding's going to be?'
'How would I know?' she replied innocently, handing Brendan a drink.
'Ah Siobhan. You're her friend.'
'Even so it's not like she'd tell me. And don't go annoying Niamh, Orla or Emma because they don't know either.'
'Well, when they do....'
'You'll be the first to know,' Siobhan finished for him.
Fr Mac smiled slightly and left.
'You're not?' Brendan asked aghast.
'Of course not,' Siobhan replied.
'That means you just lied to a priest.'
'Brendan. I didn't lie. I changed the subject. Besides he wasn't wearing his collar.'
Brendan's retort was unlived because at that moment Peter and Assumpta returned.
'And where have you been?' Siobhan asked.
The question was pretty much answered as Assumpta blushed and Peter looked uncomfortable.
Siobhan smiled. 'Fr Mac wanted to know when the wedding was.'
'You didn't tell him did you?' Assumpta asked, worried.
'Of course not. I don't even know yet. Besides, even if I did I wouldn't tell that stupid old man.'
'Who you calling stupid?' Eammon asked from a seat in the corner.
'Oh Eammon,' Siobhan said exasperated.
'You,' Brendan told him.
'Stop teasing him,' Assumpta told them.
'Ah they back are they?' Emma asked grinning. She stopped when Orla gave her a look.
Assumpta smiled and went behind the bar. 'Thanks Siobhan,' she told her.
'Not a problem.'
Later that night when the pub was closed Assumpta sank into the closest chair. Peter sat down beside her. 'You look worried,' he told her.
'A little,' she said, snuggling up to him.
He put his arm around her. 'About what?' he asked.
'What about us?'
'You know I love you don't you?'
Peter started to look worried. 'Of course. What's all this about?'
Peter moved her so that he could look into her eyes. He saw that she was scared and he knew how hard it must have been for her to admit it. 'What are you scared of?' he asked her softly.
'Us. That we might not last. That....'
Peter put his finger over he lips. 'I love you Assumpta. There is no way that with our love for each other we can't last.'
'You're right. Gee I hate admitting that.'
Peter laughed. 'No more worries?'
Assumpta put her head on his chest. 'No more worries.'
'Well, who's going to ask her?' Orla asked.
'Don't look at me!' Emma objected.
'You should Niamh. You're her best friend,' Orla told her.
'Why do I feel outnumbered here?' Niamh asked.
'Assumpta,' Niamh sidled up to her.
Assumpta took one look at her friend and said, 'What do you want?'
'Niamh whenever you look at me like that you want something.'
'Well maybe I do. Will you come to a party with me, Orla, Emma and Siobhan?'
'Like a bachelorettes party?'
'It's going to be silly so no.'
'It's not going to be silly I promise.'
Assumpta looked at the pleading look on Niamh's face. 'Oh alright. But if it's silly I'm going to bed.'
A look of pure joy crossed Niamh's face. 'Great. Thanks Assumpta.'
As she left Assumpta sighed. What was she getting herself into?
A crying baby filled the pub the next day.
'Brendan, can you rock her or something?' Orla asked him. 'I can hardly hear myself think!'
'Here,' Peter said, taking Aisling off Brendan. 'Let me try.'
Assumpta smiled as she watched Peter rock Aisling gently and softly sing to her.
'There's your perfect father,' Niamh whispered to her.
'Niamh,' Assumpta said in horror. Then her face softened. 'I agree.'
Aisling had fallen asleep and Peter carefully placed her back in her carrier.
'That's how it's done,' Peter smiled triumphantly at Brendan.
Assumpta and Niamh stifled a giggle. Brendan frowned and hmphed. Kieran was learning to climb and he had positioned himself right under the stout tap. He was about to have a taste when Peter grabbed him. 'I don't think you'd like that but even if you would your mother would not like a drunk toddler.'
'Are we running a nursery as well as a pub?' Assumpta asked.
'Sorry,' Niamh apologised. 'This little fella has to go and get his teeth checked.
'Ah the wonderful dentist.'
'Don't let him pull them all out,' Brendan warned.
'Don't tease him,' Assumpta admonished.
'I have to tell you something that I don't think you'll like,' Peter told Assumpta.
'What?' she asked worriedly, moving from her place on his chest to look at him.
'The only priest that is free to marry us is Fr Mac.'
Assumpta shuddered. 'Is he the only person? I mean, he doesn't even approve of it.'
'Well, I had a talk with him. He said he understands and he will do it if you agree.'
'The question is, will he believe what he says?' Assumpta asked him.
'He will Assumpta. I promise.'
'Well then,' she said smiling. 'We better start writing invitations hadn't we?'
Peter kissed her. 'I think so.'
The pub was quiet. Orla, Niamh, Emma, Siobhan and Assumpta were sitting around the fire talking.
'I told you we wouldn't do anything silly,' Niamh smiled.
'Well, the party isn't finished yet is it,' Assumpta replied, sending her a warning glare.
'Can I come in?' Fr Mac asked, walking in.
'Wrong party father,' Orla smiled. 'The men's party is over the road.'
Emma and Siobhan burst out laughing.
'Thank you Orla. I was just wondering if I could get a drink.'
'It's says closed on the door father,' Niamh told him.
'But I am priest and I would not repeat anything heard.'
'Your point being?' Assumpta asked, glaring at him.
'I'd behave yourself Assumpta. I am to marry you remember?'
'You gave Peter your word.'
'Right. Well, I'll be off then if I can't get a drink out of you.'
When he left Niamh turned to Assumpta. 'He's marrying you and Peter?'
'Just my luck huh,' Assumpta replied, taking a sip of her wine.
'That'll be nice,' Emma said, smiling sarcastically.
'Don't rub it in.'
'Tommorow's the day,' Niamh smiled at Assumpta.
'Mmm,' Assumpta replied.
'Mushy,' Emma grinned.
'Like you and Danny,' Siobhan replied.
'Come on,' Peter urged Assumpta.
'Come on what? We've got a pub to run!'
'Brendan and Siobhan offered their services now come on.'
'Where are we going?'
'It's a surprise.'
'We're on Eammon's mountain,' Assumpta told him, taking his hand.
'I can see that,' Peter replied, kissing her forehead.
'What are we doing here?'
'I was once told that as the sun sets over Ballykay it's a very beautiful sight.'
'Ooh a romantic,' Assumpta teased.
'Only for you,' he smiled, kissing her.
'Well, did you show her?' Siobhan asked, smiling when Peter and Assumpta arrived back.
'He did,' Assumpta smiled.
'Peter,' Ambrose said. 'You coming?'
Assumpta groaned. 'Do we have to do this?'
'It's bad luck for the groom to see the bride the night before the wedding,' Niamh told Assumpta.
'It's an old wives tale,' Assumpta pointed out.
'Why did you two have something else planned tonight?' Padraig asked, grinning slyly.
Assumpta immediately blushed and Peter looked awkward.
'You'll have plenty of time tomorrow night,' Nimah grinned. 'Now come on.'
Peter sighed and grabbed his bag. 'Why does this seem familiar?' he asked Assumpta.
'Come out the back for a minute,' she beckoned to him.
Peter followed her out. 'What have I done now?' he asked.
'Nothing,' she replied, smiling. 'I just wanted to give you something.'
'What?' Peter asked bemused.
She kissed him soundly and Peter pulled her close. 'I just wanted to kiss you without all the whistles and catcalls,' she told him.
'Peter! Assumpta!' called Siobhan. 'We can see you in there!'
Assumpta smiled at her fiancee'. 'Meet you at the altar?'
'As you once told me. "You'll never get to heaven if you break my heart",' Peter replied.
'I'll be there.'
They kissed again and Peter left with Ambrose.
'Time ladies and gentelman,' Niamh called. 'We'll see you tommorow in St Joseph's for the wedding this town has been waiting for for three years.'
The church bells were ringing loud and clear. Assumpta was fidgeting as Niamh helped her do her wedding dress up.
'Assumpta could you stop? I can't do this up with you squirming!'
'Sorry,' Assumpta replied.
'You're not having second thoughts are you?'
'Niamh I love Peter so much. I know, for once in my life that this is the right thing to do.'
Niamh zipped her up and turned her around to face her. 'I'm so happy for you.'
Peter was fidgeting at the altar. Ambrose looked at him in surprise.
'You okay Peter?' he asked.
'I'm fine,' Peter replied. 'You do have the ring don't you?'
'I most certainly do. Right here in my pocket.'
Everyone was filing in the church. Siobhan had Aisling in her lap. She gave Peter a reassuring smile. Padraig came in next, with Kevin. Next arrived Orla and Emma with Danny, Eammon and Sean. Brian arrived next. Kathleen Hendley was sitting at the very back scowling. Finally, the music started playing. Kieran pranced down the aisle followed closely by Niamh who was making sure he behaved himself. Finally, on Brendan's arm, Assumpta entered the church. Peter drew in his breath. She looked so beautiful!
'Do you Peter Clifford, take Assumpta Fitzgerald to be your lawfully wedded wife. To have and to hold, for richer or poorer in sickness and in health, till death do you part?' Fr Mac asked.
'I do,' Peter replied, smiling at Assumpta.
'Do you Assumpta Fitzgerald, take Peter Clifford, to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?'
'I do,' Assumpta answered, a smile lighting up her face.
'By the power invested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
You may kiss your
bride,' Fr Mac smiled at Peter.
Peter smiled at Assumpta and they kissed lovingly.
'May I present Mr and Mrs Peter and Assumpta Clifford,' Fr Mac announced.
Applause erupted in the small church.
'Are you happy?' Peter asked Assumpta as he held her in his arms while they danced to the slow music.
'How could I not be? I love you so much Peter. You're all I ever wanted.'
Peter softly touched his lips to hers. 'I love you too Assumpta.'